When we first thought to share a Stake Presidency Message each week church was suspended, I didn’t think I would be writing week 7. Life for many of us is very different than it was 8 weeks ago, and we are having to make changes to how we do even the most mundane, everyday things.
In a church sense, who would have thought that we would go nearly two months without meeting in our congregations? Many of our wards have successfully implemented using technology to keep in touch. We hear of virtual councils, WhatsApp groups and Zoom Sunday morning devotionals.
When we talk as a presidency, we often worry about those who do not have an internet connection in their lives, as they are usually our older members, who may already feel isolated from church activity. Hopefully, the wonderful experiences members share online can be passed on to those without the internet, by way of a telephone call.
“Sister Smith, I have just been part of an online Sunday devotional, we talked about this scripture”
“ Sister Smith I listened to Brother Jones testimony this morning online, he mentioned …. “
“Sister Smith I felt the spirit prompt me to call you, would you share your favourite scripture with me? Shall we share a prayer together here on the phone now”
Please don’t think we are against the use of technology; we are just always mindful of “the one”
Last week, I think after watching the England Manchester Mission online fireside, President Harrott asked us to look into the feasibility of doing a Virtual Stake Fireside. Before we had even worked out the logistics, he came back with a list of 7 people he would like to invite to share a testimony, one for each ward! Assignments were made, technology learnt and wheels began to turn.
Doctrine and Covenants 6:32 states “Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching onething, behold, there will I be in the midst of them—even so am I in the midst of you.” When this was written, the only way to gather was face to face… Now we can gather without even leaving our homes. I believe the promise still applies though. When we gather virtually on Sunday Evening as a Stake we will share an experience, we will feel the spirit together and there is power in that. We will also be making Stake history.
But what about those that I mentioned, without then internet? We have thought of them… As soon as the fireside ends, every word spoken will be available in text form. Individual talks and testimonies, that you can print and share with someone else. Put it in an envelope with a covering note and post through a letter box. It will be a modern-day version of King Benjamin on his tower! Those that couldn’t hear, were looked after by note takers and runners. You will be blessed for joining with us and blessed for sharing.
This Fireside may be the easiest missionary opportunity we have. You can share a link before the event “My church is holding a virtual meeting Come and See” After the event every testimony will be available as an individual video for you to share on social media as and when you feel inspired… We have tried to include all.
I am grateful for the inspired leadership of President Harrott that pushes me out of my comfort zone, I am grateful for a prophet on the earth, that 18 months ago introduced “Come, Follow Me” that has put us in the best place possible to meet today’s challenges. Imagine how different our current experience would be for ‘individuals and families’ without Come, Follow Me !! Let us hope when this period ends we will be a little smarter, a little wiser and more prepared to help usher in the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Information about how to watch the fireside can be found HERE
All the presidency messages can be viewed HERE